Lucy Curno Revive

My Octopus Teacher in our own backyard?

Kelp growing underwater

Have you heard about ‘My Octopus Teacher’, or have you been living under a rock?

If you haven’t – all is forgiven because in the world of ocean creatures that rock would be prime real estate.

In fact, it’s where the resident octopus (& female lead) actually lives. It’s also known as a den.

The game-changing ‘My Octopus Teacher’ documentary is set in South Africa and follows a free diver and film maker, Craig Foster, as he tells the tale of befriending an octopus – and spending an entire year visiting her every single day. By doing this, he discovers the incredible intelligence of the octopus’s species and forms an unparalleled bond with this beautiful underwater creature.

The other star of the show is the bountiful kelp forest that Craig swims through daily, and uses to pull himself down to the seabed, like nature’s conveniently placed rope. The same kelp forest that we in fact, have right here in Australia.

The Great Southern Reef, a massive series of reefs that extend around Australia’s Southern coast line, is home to many of the same ocean wildlife that’s featured in the documentary, alongside a lush expansive kelp forest – which are also some of the most productive ecosystems on the planet. And, to make them even more impressive, the kelp forests are home to many species which are not found anywhere else on the planet.

Check out the beauty of our own Great Southern Reef!

(Reminder: if you see a blue ringed octopus in our waters, don’t touch it!)

Who knew we had something so significant in our backyard? It turns out not many people know about The Great Southern Reef, but “great” is in the name for a reason.

Sadly, the reef is facing widespread loss of the forests due to our changing climate and warming waters (according to CSIRO). It’s also up against a rapidly growing battle between our natural marine habitat and plastic in the ocean.

We want to help, so we’ve created #SeaToSource which aims to tackle ocean litter before it even enters our waterways. At the moment, according to the Algalita Marine Research Foundation, plastic makes up 60-95% of the litter in creeks, rivers and oceans.

#SeaToSource focuses on 8 rivers which all flow towards the Great Southern Reef. It doesn’t just support beach clean ups, because our goal is to address the issue by eliminating ocean litter right back at the source – in our towns, cities, and homes. We would love to make beach clean ups a thing of the past.

Like Craig discovers in the documentary through his journey visiting his local reef daily and establishing a soul-felt connection with the octopus, it’s exciting to experience our relationship with the natural world.

“What she taught me is to feel that you are part of this place. Not a visitor. And that’s a huge difference.”

– Craig Foster

We feel the same and believe protecting the living planet starts with all of us. #SeaToSource starts with our individual relationships to waterways, and supports you and your community to find ways to protect the places you love, like your local creeks and rivers, as well as the Great Southern Reef by stopping litter before it becomes a problem.

Get involved with #SeaToSource, and be part of Australia’s journey back to healthy rivers & reefs.


Get Involved

We’re here to make it easy to take action for nature across Australia, and we would love your help. Check out the ways that you can get involved in tackling ocean litter through #SeaToSource.